Guest Column: Al Osgood, Jr., Chairperson, Citizens for Loveland City Schools
Loveland is so fortunate to have a great school district with strong leaders. The Board of Education’s announcement they are able to phase in the requested November levy increase is a perfect example of that. They listened to community feedback, and because of the recent reduction in interest rates, they are able to phase in the requested levy increase over three years versus all at once; that will certainly help from a budgeting and cashflow planning standpoint.
It is critically important to recognize that this levy request is about needs and not wants. We have buildings that are almost 80 years old, we have students learning in temporary trailers and hallways, we have inadequate safety and security for today’s world, classrooms are “bursting at the seams” and the list goes on. These issues are not going away; they will only get worse and more expensive if we wait. Now is the time to act. There is a significant cost of inaction. In fact, multiple district building estimates show that the cost of maintaining the current facilities is MORE than the cost of rebuilding. Bottom line, choosing to “kick the can down the road” will end up costing us more and have a direct negative impact on our children’s education.
The district’s request is good for students and good for our community. Great schools correlate to great communities. People want to move to and live in Loveland because of our schools and the great community atmosphere the schools help create. Great schools are good for our property values and our ability to sell our homes. Please remember that we don’t need to look too far to see the negative impact to communities and schools with failed levies.
I commend the school district for their open, transparent and inclusive process that they have used in developing the facility master plan and current levy request. They have been working on this for four years with opportunity after opportunity for the community to participate and provide input.
Please get the real facts before making a decision at the ballot box. There are almost daily social media posts and websites that are incorrect or misleading. It’s easy to assume that everything posted on-line is accurate, but it’s definitely not. If you haven’t had an opportunity to get the facts, please go to one of the multiple community events that the District has scheduled. Please attend one of the five currently scheduled Ask the Superintendent discussions. Please call the District office. Any of these opportunities will allow you to get the real facts and understand why the levy request is needed and needed now.
Aside from serving as Chairperson for “Citizens for Loveland Schools”Al Osgood, Jr., is a CFP® and President of Financial Freedom, LLC. He resides in Miami Township.